ESRI Petroleum User Group, Houston (June 2014)

The new 'professional' PUG. ArcGIS platform, WebGIS and HTML5. RPS ASA oil spill web app. Geocap brings seismic volumes into ArcScene.

ESRI Petroleum user group (PUG) president Andrea Le Pard announced a 'rebranding' of the PUG as a 'professional industry organization.' The new PUG is to promote GIS as a professional discipline in oil and gas companies and to help out with advice on career ladder, job descriptions and salary scales. The new PUG is to initiate geospatial workflow and technology research projects and to carry on with support for the 'List' of outstanding GIS-related issues. The List is now housed on the Esri Ideas website. The 'professional' proposal got a mixed reception on the GIS in Petroleum LinkedIn discussion board.

ESRI has fleshed-out the ArcGIS 'platform' strategy it introduced last year. This includes 'WebGIS,' described as a 'new paradigm' but actually a technology shift from the somewhat deprecated Flex/Flash and Silverlight endpoints to shiny new HTML5. A new web app builder provides a plug-in environment for developers and programming-free map customization for users. ESRI and third parties provide themes, widgets and 'stem' apps that users can leverage in lightweight, fit-for-purpose mapping applications.

One demo from RPS ASA showed an oil spill web app that combines operational response smarts for spill tracking with a map of the user's chosing. Another demo from Coler &Colantino (now Novara GeoSolutions) showed how C&C's pipeline tools for high consequence analysis, pipeline class calculations and more are accessible from a map in the browser. All connecting to a PODS database back-end. Users can covisualize web services data from the database along with map data. And presumably with other providers widgets such as RPS' although the demo did not show this.

ESRI is positioning the platform rather grandly as one of three pillars of enterprise IT as in 'what, when and where,' with the platform providing the 'where.' We're not sure what provides the 'what' and 'when' but the demo of the 'maps at work' concept from ESRI's Norwegian partner Geocap was compelling.

Here we have full-featured display and control of a 100 GB 4D seismic volume from inside ArcScene with roaming through cross lines, inlines and time slices, 'just like in an interpretation package.' Next, log into ArcGIS, bring in key wells and publish your project as a web scene for visualization in a browser - with the same functionality as in the desktop app. Pretty fancy stuff. Maybe one day Schlumberger will be writing plug-ins for ArcGIS! More from the PUG in next month's Oil IT Journal and from the PUG conference page.   

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